So Close to a Finish!

I am in the process of finishing  the fourth and final (!) border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  Once the flowers, vines and leaves were finished, I appliqued all of the tiny details, like the red berries, the yellow centers of the roses.  The embroidery is done with just one strand of floss.

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Once that was finally finished, I did what I did to all of my blocks and borders once I am finished stitching them….I poured a warm bath, added some suds….and tossed the border in!

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Why do I do this?  I do this because I use glue, starch and marking pens on my quilt blocks, so I want all of that to be removed before I stitch the blocks together.  If you want, you can watch my Youtube video on Washing Blocks and you can also check out this post.

After the border was dry, I auditioned it along side the rest of the quilt.  I think Jenny and Bruin are pleased with the results!

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As you can see, I am not finished yet!  I still have the remaining 2 corner blocks to do.  Wanting to keep the momentum going, I started with the vase, an easy place to start.

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Next, I started to add some leaves to the vase.  I have found this little tip to be very helpful when lining up mulitple pieces.  I prep the piece as usual and then remove the freezer paper template.  I flip the template over and place it on top of the prepped piece.  Then I draw on the remaining seam allowance.

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As you start to glue the pieces in place, you can also see the emerging shape that will cover all of those raw edges (in this case, the rose).DSCN6548

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And now I can start to fill in the rest of the vase.  Lovely!

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Til next time….

Kerry

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Stitching the weekend away….

Last night I put the last quilting stitch in my Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  I started this quilt soon after visiting “The City Quilter” in New York, where I innocently purchased a few packages of paper hexies.  You can see that post here.  I am toying with the idea of doing a binding with an added flange, just for something different!

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I spent Friday evening adding the red berries and embroidering the stems to the border of Friends of Baltimore.  I used 2 strands of embroidery thread for  the stems and one strand for the tendrils around each rose.

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Once the yellow centers were added to each rose…

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…..I filled the bathtub with hot, soapy water and tossed the border into the tub.  You can read this post and see why I do this!

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So, this morning, I was ready to trim the border to the proper size (I always cut my blocks and borders larger that required to allow for shrinkage). The border was a little wrinkled after it dried and so I placed it right side down on a thick towel and pressed it.

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Then I placed the border on the paper pattern and pinned it in place matching the leaves and flowers.

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I marked the finished line on the border with a washable blue marker and then unpinned it from the paper pattern.  Next, I took my rotary cutter and a long ruler and trimmed 1/4″ away from the blue mark.  Not going to lie, this is always a little nerve-racking.  A lot could go wrong at this point!

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So…this is what the border will look like once it is stitched to the rest of the quilt, but I can’t add the border until the corner block is finished.

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Til next time….

Kerry

Getting Ready For A Vacation!

Hubby and I and 2 other couples are leaving on Sunday for a week in the sunny south.  We have had this holiday planned for a while now and we are all very, very excited.  Who wouldn’t be?  We are going to Barbados!  The other 2 wives are busy planning where we will be eating, daily excursions to must-see tourist areas and flight schedules.  Not me.  I am too busy prepping my applique so I can do some serious stitching!  My biggest fear is that when I travel, I will have absolutely nothing to do.  True story.  So I always take my applique with me wherever I go.  I have stitched in Nova Scotia….

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…at the cottage….

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…The Royal York in Toronto.  We actually missed our flight to Nova Scotia so I had lots of time to stitch while we waited for the next flight.

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…on the Amoeba in Antigua…..

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…and in Florida.

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Wherever I go with my stitching, I take my bag with me.  I pack this bag before I pack my suitcase.  Again…true story!  My bag has everything in it that I will need….thread, a package of needles, a few pins, scissosrs, close-up glasses, Thread Heaven and ThimblePads.

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So…on to the border.  I love fabrics that go from light to dark across the width, like this purple one.

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I needed some purple berries to finish off the bouquet in the vase and I thought this might be the perfect fabric.  I cut a few dark berries, a few medium ones and a couple light ones.

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I just kept adding flowers, buds, leaves and stems, until the right side was complete.  Voila!

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Finally, I have something to hand-quilt!  I spent the weekend marking and basting my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.   I decided to quilt a Baptist fan design.  So far, so good!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

I Turned A Corner!

When I stitched the first border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I did what I do to all my blocks and borders.  I washed the border.  (I should mention that I pre-wash all of my fabrics in Synthrapol before I cut into them.)  Something odd happened.  For the very first time one of my red fabrics ran. Yikes!  You can read more about that post here.  If you remember, I Googled “what do I do when my fabrics run” and did exactly what I was told!  I went to the store and purchased Oxi-Clean and some colour magnet sheets so I could re-wash the border and (hopefully!) remove the spots of red.  The article I read also said to dry the fabric as soon as possible so, once the border was re-washed, I put it in the dryer and all was good.  The red marks disappeared!

When I put the border on the paper pattern to trim it to the correct size, I noticed that the the appliques didn’t exactly match what was on the paper pattern.  It looked like the area that was appliqued had shrunk in length.   I know that a certain amount of shrinkage happens because of all the stitching.  And the dryer would have caused a certain amount of shrinkage, also.  Certainly not the end of the world!  This is what I did to correct the (minor) problem…..

Just to give you an idea of  how much shrinkage there was, the bud is supposed to be where my finger is.  Just so you are not confused, you can only applique so far to the edge of the border, then the overlappping pieces can be glued and stitched in place once the corner block is added.

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I moved the bud to where it was “supposed” to be.  (Luckily, I had not stitched it in place yet!)

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Next, I cut the bias stem.  Notice I cut it under a piece of bias that crossed over it, so I could hide the join.

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I just added a longer piece of bias.

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Then  I added a leaf  to fill in the space.  Looks good to me!

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So once I shifted a few more pieces (and added 3 extra leaves) to fill in the space, the corner is finally complete!

I decided not to wash the corner block until it was part of the border.  That way, I could also wash the pieces that overlapped the borders and the block.  I filled the bathtub with just a few inches of water and placed the body of the quilt on the edge of the tub.  I may not sound like it, but I was starting to get a little stressed!!

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Once all the glue and starch was washed out, I pressed the water out and laid it out on a couple of thick towels to dry.   All is good!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Progress feels good!

I am finally seeing some progress on a few of the quilts I am working on.  As you can tell, I like to hand-applique and hand-quilt.  As we all are very aware, both are time consuming, and it can be a long time before any results can be seen. So when I get close to finishing anything, I get really excited

First, I woke up yesterday with one thing on my mind.  Finishing the hand-quilting on Circle of Tulips!  I am sooooo close!  I must admit, though, I have been in my pre-mourning stage for a week or two.  I start to miss the quilt before it’s even finished and I wonder what I will do to fill the void.  Sad, but true!!

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So, after a couple of hours  of stitching and watching re-runs of Downton Abbey, I am finished!  Yippee!!

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Now, I just have to bind it!  The pattern for this block is available as a free download on my website.

I have also been making some progress on the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  This is the left side of the vase almost finished.DSCN5735

So, now it’s time to start the right side of the vase!  I added the fern and a few roses and buds.

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These borders have lots (I mean lots!) of bias stems on it.  So I end up with lots of short pieces.  This is how I use up those tiny pieces…

I find a spot on the pattern where I can inconspicuously hide the joins.  Now you see the joins….

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…and now you don’t!!

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To keep my (extremely unorganized) self from losing track of all those leaves and flowers, I prep them in my usual way and then I glue the pieces to the paper pattern.  Also, when I cut the freezer paper shapes out, I place them on the paper pattern in the spot they will eventually be glued and stitched, just to keep everything nice and organized.

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So, now I just pick up each piece and place it on the background.  Easy peasy!

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So…here is the right side of the border!

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And, finally, the border is (almost!) finished…I just have a bit of stitching to do!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Always more than one option….

It occurs to me from time to time that quilting is a lot like life.  You rarely are in a situation where you do not have options.  And the option you choose is really up to you (and not the Quilt Police!).  There are a few dainty buds in the border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  How you decide to make them is totally up to you!

Here are the buds……they are the same but I am going to prep them two different ways.

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First, I ironed both buds to the wrong side of the fabric and cut them out.

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For the first bud, I prepped it in my normal way.

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Next, I removed the freezer paper and cut out the circle to use as a pattern for the red centre and prepped it.

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Bud #1.

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For Bud # 2, I decided to do reverse applique.  I think this term often confuses people. (You are not appliqueing in reverse!) You are simply reversing the layers.  For Bud #1, I placed the red piece on top of the green piece.  Bud #2 involves placing the green piece on top of the red piece.

This technique involves cutting a hole in the centre of the fabric and still leave a seam allowance that you can turn.

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I carefull clipped the seam allowance.  You can see that I didn’t clip right up to the freezer paper.  And you can see how small the hole is!

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Then I carefully turned the inner edge.

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And once the outer edge was prepped, I removed the freezer paper.

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And finally, I cut a piece of red to place under the bud.  There is no need to prep the edges of the red piece of fabric.  It will be covered up.

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So here are both buds glued in placed in the border.  Remember, you always have options!!

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In my spare time I am still making hexies…and still loving it!!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

Prepping and prepping…..

I have been spending most of my spare time prepping the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I must admit, it is a little tedious, however, I am sticking with it!!   It isn’t long before this…

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…and this…

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….becomes this!  For those people who have asked how I prep my pieces, you can see more here.

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Once the pieces are prepped, I use a dab of glue and attach them to the paper pattern.  I do this for a  few reasons…one is so I can make sure I prep all of the pieces and don’t forget any.  The second reason is so I do not lose any pieces (been there, done that!).  And I can preview my fabrics, which is especially useful when doing multi-couloured flowers.

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Once I get a section prepped, I am eager to glue it to the background and then I stitch it in place.  I find it easier to break the process down into smaller chunks rather than to try to do the prepping all at once, then all of the stitching at once.  That is just the way I work!

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Yes, I have been hexi-ing!  I have a special project in mind!

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And finally, I am in the process of turning the last(!) corner of Circle of Tulips.  So exciting!

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Speaking of excitement…my Civil War Bride Quilt received a ribbon at the Plowing Match Quilt Competition!  All quilts that received a ribbon will be exhibited in the Lifestyles Area at the 2014 Simcoe County International Plowing Match and Rural Expo September 16-20, 2014.  Sweet!

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Til next time….

Kerry